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Pentax P3 35mm SLR (1985-1988)

August 26th, 2010 No comments

Pentax P3 35mm SLR Camera (1985-1988)This is the Pentax P3 35mm manual focus SLR, shown here with 50 mm f/2.0 lens.  The camera was introduced in 1985 and was marketed towards beginner SLR photographers. It can use Pentax-A lenses allowing full auto exposure mode, but can also be used in manual mode with Pentax-A or Pentax K-mount lenses. It does not have a built-in flash, but has a hot-shoe for attaching an external flash. If a Pentax flash is used it can automatically set the exposure as well.

The camera has a built-in LED light meter, making it easy to set the exposure by manually changing the aperture and shutter speed. The maximum shutter speed is 1/1000 s and it has a 1/100 sync speed for external flash. Other features include a self-timer (up to 12 s) and a depth-of-field preview. It has a light weight plastic body, which is quite durable, making it a popular camera for traveling.  One of the best things about this camera is it is available for a low price - around $50, often including a 50 mm lens. Since it uses the Pentax K-mount lens system, there is a huge variety of lenses available for this camera!

Overall this camera is great for beginners or for photographers who want a basic light weight 35 mm SLR. It has some limitations. One is that it uses the DX coding on the film canister to detect and set the ISO automatically (ISO 25 to 1600), and it is not possible to override it. This is a drawback for more advanced photographers who may want to set the ISO manually.  Another limitation is the slowest shutter speed is 1 s, although bulb/cable release is available for long exposures.

Related links:

Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount Page

Pentax P3 35mm SLR Camera (1985-1988)

Categories: cameras, film, Photography Tags: , , , , ,

iPhoneography

August 17th, 2010 1 comment

Sunset portraits

I have an iPhone 3GS, which has a 3 megapixel digital camera built in. While it has far less resolution than my DSLR and compact digital cameras, it has the advantage of always being with me! To quote photographer Chase Jarvis, the best camera is the one that's with you. It's super easy to use - just point, focus and click! I'm used to manually setting up my DSLR with its numerous functions and parameters, but with the iPhone everything is automatic. You can concentrate on the light, composition, emotions and expressions instead.  My DSLR is quite heavy, especially when I bring several lenses, external flash and all sorts of accessories, but the iPhone just goes in my pocket. Photographer Lee Morris even did a full-blown fashion shoot with the iPhone!

Most of all, photography with the iPhone is fun!

Apps

The camera app that comes with the iPhone has the basic ability to take photos. It saves them and that's about it. You can do more with the camera and photos with the many apps that you can download from the app store. I have just started playing around with the iPhone camera and use the following apps:

ToyCamera - Select from a menu of effects, or go with random!

Hipstamatic - Change lenses, flash and film to get different retro looking effects.

Camera Genius - Has tons of features to improve the basic iPhone camera including anti-shake, timer, burst mode and composition guides

Best Camera - Has 14 filters that can be combined for unique effects, and can be configured to share to your Twitter and Facebook accounts.

TiltShift Generator - Makes scenes look like miniatures by applying a tilt-shift filter.

Pano - Stitches together up to 16 photos to generate panorama photos.

PS Express - A collection of filters to quickly edit your iPhone photos.

BlurFX - Create selective focus effects quick and easily.

Aisu Sepia - Gives your photos a vintage sepia look.

Sharing

The iPhone makes it easy to share your photos - you can post to your blog, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Tumblr or e-mail them to your friends!

Spontaneity

You can use the iPhone in situations where taking out your regular camera would destroy the spontaneity. People don't pay as much attention to you when you are using the iPhone, but they stop and change their behaviour when you take out a DSLR with a big lens! With the iPhone, you are hardly noticed, so you can capture the mood without influencing it too much.

More of my iPhone Photos on Flickr

Disadvantages

There are some trade-offs with the iPhone camera. Don't expect the quality to be anywhere close to what you would get with a modern digital camera.

Low res - The major disadvantage with the iPhone camera is its low resolution. The iPhone 3GS digital camera is 3MP and the iPhone 4 is better at 5 MP. That's fine for online sharing and small prints, but it you want large prints the iPhone may not be the best choice! For best results, make sure you select the highest resolution image setting for each app. The default is usually one of the lower resolutions settings.

High noise - The small sensor results in high noise levels in the photos, which is noticeable when you view the photos at 100% on a monitor. The noise does add to the grainy retro feel to the photos, but you may not always want that.  I use Lightroom 3 to remove the noise with successful results.

Lens quality - the tiny lens is quite remarkable, but obviously is limited in comparison to DSLR cameras. iPhone photos will not have the sharpness and depth of field effects that you get with a DSLR.

Lack of flexibility - the major advantage of more sophisticated cameras such as DSLRs, is their ability to take photos in many challenging situations. You can switch lenses, use external strobes, change the ISO, shutter speed and aperture, and shoot in RAW format. The the iPhone 4 does have an LED flash to give it some more flexibility in low light. With the iPhone, you must take advantage of existing light and let the camera determine the best settings.

Conclusion

I love the spontaneous randomness of the iPhone.  Combined with the many apps, I can generate images that I would not be able to capture any other way, especially when I don't have my other camera with me ready to go!

Other related links:

The best camera

iPhoneography

Vintage Camera – Pentax ME Super

August 6th, 2010 1 comment

Pentax ME Super 35mm SLR Camera (1979) The Pentax ME Super featured aperture priority automatic mode and TTL light meter. It also has a fully manual mode and syncs at 1/125 s.  It was a manual focus camera and used the Pentax K mount lenses. The camera shown above is equipped with the Pentax 50mm f/1.7 lens. It was a very popular camera with advanced amateur photographers.

I haven’t tried out this camera yet but will test it and post some photos later – assuming that it works OK!

Links:

Wikipedia entry for Pentax ME Super

A look inside the camera

Pentax ME Super 35mm SLR Camera (1979)

Pentax ME Super 35mm Camera

Categories: cameras, film, Photography Tags: , , ,

Canon T70 35mm SLR Camera

August 5th, 2010 2 comments

Vancouver Sleeping

I woke up at 2:30 this morning to look for the aurora borealis, which is brighter than usual due to recent solar activity. But the city lights in Vancouver are too bright to see much happening in the night sky, so instead I took this shot. At 2:30 a.m. it's good to see most of the office lights in the buildings are turned off to save energy. It was a beautiful night with the crescent moon rising and Venus shining brightly. There's a haze in the air caused by the smoke from forest fires in the region. The haze was lit up by blue light over the city which was quite beautiful contrasted with the yellow city lights.
Vancouver Sleeping

I woke up at 2:30 this morning to look for the aurora borealis, which is brighter than usual due to recent solar activity. But the city lights in Vancouver are too bright to see much happening in the night sky, so instead I took this shot. At 2:30 a.m. it's good to see most of the office lights in the buildings are turned off to save energy. It was a beautiful night with the crescent moon rising and Venus shining brightly. There's a haze in the air caused by the smoke from forest fires in the region. The haze was lit up by blue light over the city which was quite beautiful contrasted with the yellow city lights.

clinic on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalamakia/4863864420/">Canon T70 35mm SLR Camera

Canon T70 35mm SLR Camera (1984)

I have a collection of film cameras and will be posting photos and information when I have the opportunity. I will also be testing them out and posting photos taken with these cameras (if they still work!).

The Canon T70 was a revolutionary camera when it was introduced in 1984, site with an LCD display, multiple program modes, and 2 through-the-lens (TTL) metering modes. It also was the second Canon SLR (after the T50) to have an "advanced on-board computer". Another convenient feature is the autowinder. It is a manual focus camera so does not have autofocus capability.

Shown with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens.

For more information on the Canon T70 check out:

Canon T70 (1984)

Wikipedia

Very detailed review

Canon T70 35mm SLR Camera

Categories: cameras, film, Photography Tags: , , , , ,
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